ACSO gets new radios online

Published 12:01 am Friday, October 25, 2019

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies and personnel went online with 90 new radios on the MSWIN system at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said.

MSWIN is short for the Mississippi Wireless Information Network that state leaders said was designed to “get the right information to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”

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The MSWIN system is described as “a robust architecture with disaster recovery features that will provide reliable communications under extreme conditions such as hurricanes, ice storms, and floods.”

Other emergency and first responders in Adams County, including fire services, Natchez Police Department and ambulance services, went online earlier this year with MSWIN radios.

In recent months, first responders said the different agencies being on different systems had caused delays in dispatching emergency calls to the proper agencies.

Under the system, three dispatchers in the county’s combined E911 dispatch office had to work at separate computer dispatch terminals for each different agency that could only handle calls for one particular agency each.

If a call came in to the terminal, for instance, for the county, and the county’s terminal was busy with another call, another dispatcher could take the call but could not dispatch it to a deputy until the dispatcher for the county moved away from the county’s computer.

Patten said the new radios have eliminated that problem in the combined E911 dispatch and that calls should be routed to the proper agency much quicker now.

“Everything is going great,” Patten said of the new radios Thursday afternoon. “The only thing I’m seeing now is citizens calling because they can’t hear us on the airwaves with their scanners.”

Patten said people who monitor emergency radio traffic via personal police scanners would have to update their scanners to be able to follow the emergency communications.

The 90 radios for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office include 46 handheld radios and 44 car radios. Patten said the total cost to Adams County for the Harris brand radios, installation and harnesses, etc., was approximately $400,000 through the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

“Supervisors saw the need for this system,” Patten said. “When they voted it in, they did a huge favor to the citizens.”